Weight Loss 101: For Best Results

Posted on May 3, 2017 in Healthy Living, Natural Health, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Weight Loss

Weight Loss 101: For Best Results

Over the past two decades, incidence of overweight and obesity have more than doubled for Canadian adults and nearly tripled among Canadian children. Similar trends are occurring worldwide. Medical complications associated with obesity are steadily rising. Obesity is related to major preventable chronic diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. Improve your chances of maintaining a healthy weight with a weight loss program that includes researched dietary approaches, herbs and supplements.

Dietary Approaches to Weight Loss

Low Fat and High Fiber Diet: Following a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber will decrease weight and increase overall health. There are many foods that are naturally high in fiber and should be consumed daily. Groups of food that are good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole grains and many types of beans. In addition to weight loss, controlled studies indicate a low fat, high fiber balanced diet has several potential benefits, such as reducing the link of chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer. 1. Research also indicates that people who successfully lost weight obtained more of their calories from protein and less of their calories from fat. Another key strategy to their success was eating a regular breakfast.

Low carbohydrate, high protein diets:

The FDA recommends 60/30/10 (carb/fat/protein) diet ratio. A low carbohydrate diet such as Atkins promotes 5/40/55 (carb/fat/protein). Atkins, South Beach and other similar regimes are claiming that low carb diets are more effective than low calorie diets for weight loss. Successful weight loss was achieved in controlled trials by adhering to a very low carbohydrate diet, with no limit on calorie intake. 2 Furthermore, three controlled trials found that people using a low carbohydrate, high fat diets lost more weight in six months than those using diets low in fat and calories. 3

Watch Out for Severely Low Caloric Diets

To achieve long term changes, avoid repetitive weight gain and loss. Evidence clearly demonstrates that the body gets selfish in its letting go of calories after each diet. The same applies to severely low caloric intake diets. The brain remembers the dry spell and protects itself by holding onto all the calories it can in case it’s in for another long winter. 4

Food Sensitivities: The overwhelming power of food allergies is not foreign to obese individuals. Compulsive eaters crave and continue to eat offending foods. The obese person has no idea that their eating habits may be based on a physiological need to stop withdrawal symptoms caused by an allergic food. 5

Herbs to Aid Weight Loss


Hoodia Gordonii

The herb Hoodia Gordonii contains an appetite suppressant molecule (P57) which sends a signal to the hypothalamus indicating that enough food has been consumed. The effectiveness of Hoodia is supported through clinical studies and research. In a double-blind controlled clinical study, the hoodia participants had a statistically significant reduction in caloric intake, reduced body fat and no adverse side effects compared to the placebo group. 6


The herb Yohimbe has become a popular weight loss supplement particularly among women. Yohimbe bark contains a chemical that blocks the alpha 2-receptors, commonly found in sites of the body that tend to accumulate fat; abdomen, breasts, thighs and buttocks. Women have many times the alpha 2 receptors than men. By blocking this receptor which signals the body to store fat – the fat is then forced to bind to the Beta 1 receptor which burns fat. A double-blind study found women taking 5mg of yohimbe four times a day along with a weight loss diet, lost significantly more weight than those taking a placebo with the same diet after three weeks. 7, 8

Hydorxycitric acid

Hydorxycitric acid (HCA) is an extract from the rind of the Garcinia cambogia fruit which has a chemical composite similar to that of citric acid. Studies suggest HCA may reduce food intake followed by weight loss. 9 Another trial found that using Garcinia extract significantly improved the results of a weight loss diet, even though the amount of food intake was not affected. 10

Green tea

Green tea is rich in polyphenols that support a weight loss program by increasing energy consumption or by inhibiting digestion of fat in the intestines. A trial consisting of moderately obese individuals, consumed green tea extract, resulting in reduction of body weight after 12 weeks. 11


The herb Guarana` contains caffeine or caffeine like substances that support weight loss by stimulating the central nervous system to increase ones metabolic rate. Guarana` holds a GRAS-Status (Generally regarded as Safe). 12


Cayenne is a thermogenic herb that speeds up body functions like heart rate, respiration and digestion which allows you to burn more calories from food particularly when eating a high fat meal. For this reason, some weight loss supplements contain capsaicin (cayenne). 13

Supplements to Increase Weight Loss



Pyruvate or pyruvic acid occurs naturally in the body, involved in the chemical conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into a form of usable energy. Supplementation leads to weight loss by increasing the Citric acid cycle also known as the Krebs cycle. A controlled study found that pyruvate (22-44 grams) enhanced weight loss and a greater reduction of body fat in adults consuming a low fat diet. 14, 15

Amylase Inhibitors

Amylase inhibitors or carb blockers contain substances that inhibit the body’s production of the starch digesting enzyme thereby preventing dietary starches from being absorbed by the body. Studies do suggest investigating their usefulness for weight loss. 16
Chromium picolinate plays an essential role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and stabilizing sugar in the blood by regulating insulin. A review combining the results of ten double-blind studies concluded that chromium picolinate may have a beneficial effect on weight loss. 17


The amino acid L-Carnitine plays a role in fat metabolism, potentially aiding weight loss. A study of overweight adolescents participating in a diet program, who took 1000mg of L-carnitine per day for three months, lost significantly more weight than the placebo group. 18


5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) has shown in controlled trials to reduce appetite and promote weight loss. In one of the trials, overweight women took 600 to 900mg of 5-HTP per day and lost significantly more weight than did the women who received a placebo. 19

Algae/Vitamin/Mineral Support

A multiple vitamin and mineral support benefits all weight loss programs in particular the very low caloric intake types. By addressing nutrient deficiencies, the appetite centre of the brain will take a brake from commanding food, searching for a missing dietary component. For this reason, blue green algae is a beneficial supplement, satisfying the appetite by supplying quality nutrition when dieting. Algae is a rich source of protein, carotenoids, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. 20


Impatience is the worse challenge when dieting. The correct way to lose weight is to take it off slowly enough, enabling the brain, nerves and endocrine glands to adjust to the new environment without triggering the starvation response. Benjamin Franklin said it best,
“Eat to live and not, live to eat”.

Excellent Diet Providing Weight Loss and Health can be found in my book “Reverse Heart Disease Naturally”. It includes dietary supplements for picking up major shortages that stop the appetite center from going off and recipes.


1 Expert Panel Jama 2001;285:2486-97 2 Westman EC, Am J Med 2002;113:30-6
3 Samaha FF, N Engl J Med 2003;348:2074-81 4 Muls E, Int J Obes 1995;19-3:S46-S50 5 Levine S, 2004 Food Addiction, Food Allergy and Overweight 6 Van Heerden FR, US Patent 6,376,657, 2002;4:23 7 Galitzky J, Eur J Clin Invest 1988;18:587-94
8 Kucio C, Isr J MedSci 1991:27:550-6 9 Wielinga P, Amer Physio Gastro 2005;5:18
10 Mattes RD, Physiol Behav2000;71:87094 11 Chantre P, Phytomedicine 2002;9:3-8
12 Anderson T, J Hum Nutr Diet2001; 14:3:243 13 Yoshioka M, Br J Nutr 2001;85: 203-11 14 Stanko RT. Am J Clin Nutr1992;56:630-5 15 Kalman D, Nutrition 1999;15:337-40 16 Choudhury A,Gastro1996;111:1313-20 17 Pittler MH, Int J Obes Relat Metab Discord 2003;27:522-9 18 He Z-Q Acta Nutrimenta Sinca 1997:19
19 Cangiano C, Am J Clin Nutr 1992;56:863-7 20 Pi-Sunyer RT, 1999;1410

Copyright © 2017 – All Rights Reserved – Michelle Honda Ph.D.


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While close attention was given to the accuracy of information in this article, the author accepts neither responsibility nor liability to any person with respect to injury, damage, loss or any circumstances involving alleged causes directly or indirectly related to the information in this article. The sole purpose is to educate and broaden ones awareness. This information is not meant to replace medical advice or services provided by a health care professional.

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